Drug Policy

Coke Is It for Hugo Chavez

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Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez reveals the secret of some of his strength: He chews coca, the source of cocaine, "every day in the morning." He also named his connection–Bolvian prez Evo Morales (the two are pictured here).

From the Miami Herald:

"I chew coca every day in the morning . . . and look how I am," he is seen saying on a video of the speech, as he shows his biceps to the audience.

Chávez, who does not drink alcohol, added that just as Fidel Castro "sends me Coppelia ice cream and a lot of other things that regularly reach me from Havana," Bolivian President Evo Morales "sends me coca paste . . . I recommend it to you."

It was not clear what Chávez meant. Indigenous Bolivians and Peruvians can legally chew coca leaves as a mild stimulant and to kill hunger. But coca paste is a semi-refined product—between leaves and cocaine—considered highly addictive and often smoked….

Morales is the longtime head of a Bolivian coca-growers' union and is known to chew coca in public, even during cabinet meetings, since he took office. Bolivia limits the coca acreage in an effort to control supplies of coca leaf that wind up being refined into cocaine….

This is not the first time that the president praised the properties of coca leaves. During a visit to a communal kitchen in western Caracas in early 2006, with Uruguayan President Tabaré Vásquez, Chávez suggested using the kitchen's ovens to bake bread made from a special coca-based flour.

"We could try that here, as part of that effort to de-Satanize a product that our indigenous people have been producing for centuries," he said.

I'm with Chavez on "de-Satanizing" coca. But when you agree with the guy on anything, even the time of day, it's time to take a hit of something.

Whole story here.

reason on Chavez here. On Morales here.

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  1. So Chavez is a cosmotarian? Shit, I’ve been giving joe static this whole time?

  2. Hey, as long as he’s democratically elected, he can do whatever he wants.

  3. This explains so, so much.

  4. Well, now he’s fucked. The DEA will take a dim view of this. Seeing the positive influence they’ve had in Columbia, I guess it’s Venezuela’s turn now.

  5. I think his talk has less to do with “de-Satanizing” coca, as he says, but more to do with helping prop up Morales in Bolivia and the FARC in Columbia, both close allies to Hugo. He’s just found a convenient angle on this one, that’s all.

  6. Wow! Erik Estrada has really gone to seed!

  7. This isn’t going to help legalization at all, is it.

  8. ”I chew coca every day in the morning . . . and look how I am,”

    Yup, an arrogant dick with delusions of grandeur and poor decision-making skills.

    It all makes sense.

  9. …who talks and talks and talks and talksand thinks that what he’s saying is incredibly fascinating and WON’T SHUT UP!

    Seriously, this explains a lot.

  10. Certainly explains how he can keep going for 8 hours on Alo Presidente.

  11. who talks and talks and talks and talksand thinks that what he’s saying is incredibly fascinating and WON’T SHUT UP!

    Por que no te callas!

  12. Democratically elected? So was Hitler.

  13. Coca chewing’s quite common in that part of the world and perfectly socially acceptable. The concentration of cocaine in chewable coca levaes is quite low; even constant chewing doesn’t do much more harm than constant coffee-drinking.

    To put it another way, Chavez’s babbling and paranoia could as easily have been caused by too many cappuccinos.

    (Or delusions of grandeur, which is probably nearest the truth.)

  14. *coca leaves

  15. Democratically elected? So was Hitler.

    No, he wasn’t. He was appointed by Hindenburg after his party won 36% of the vote. He never ran for anything himself, much less won an election.

    And also, Godwin.

  16. Ottowa Reader,

    The article says Morales sends him coco paste, which is quite a different matter.

  17. Just pinch between the teeth and gums for pure chewing satisfaction…

  18. Finally some good news from our Presidente… now if I only knew where to buy those leaves and paste.

  19. joe, that is hairsplitting — a democratic system allowed Hitler to come to power. Does that clear up the issue?

  20. Keep Dope Alive !!!

  21. Sure, DR, but it was the end of the democratic system that allowed him to stay in power.

  22. Always wondered why his economic policies reminded me of a certain Afroman song.

    I was gonna go to class, but then I got high…

  23. I chewed coca leaves in Peru. You have to take a bit of cal (limestone shavings) with it to release the, um, kraken.

  24. joe,

    Did you mean “coca paste?”

    If so, yes, you’re right. I should RTFA occasionally. ^_^;

  25. No, no. Cocoa. He likes cocoa.

    But hey, who doesn’t like cocoa?

  26. David | January 25, 2008, 8:38am | #

    Wow! Erik Estrada has really gone to seed!

    That also explains a lot.

  27. So what explains Hugo’s hero’s ability to speak for a hundred hours without stopping? What’s he been on for fifty years?

  28. No, he wasn’t. He was appointed by Hindenburg after his party won 36% of the vote.

    Bill Clinton was elected with barely 40% of the vote in ’92, yet I doubt you’d say he wasn’t democratically elected. Indeed, he never got a majority of the popular vote either time he ran.

  29. Yup, an arrogant dick with delusions of grandeur and poor decision-making skills.

    Sounds like another cokehead president I know of. You’d wonder why they don’t get along better.

  30. “Indigenous Bolivians and Peruvians can legally chew coca leaves as a mild stimulant and to kill hunger.”

    I can see how it has acted as a mild stimulant for Chavez but I cannot see how it is killing his hunger. The man is fatter everytime I see him.

  31. I like Mexican Coca-Cola because it is made with cane sugar and not HFCS. Any chance of scoring some of the “Real Thing” with real coca from Venezuela?

  32. crimethink,

    It was the “appointed” part that’s important.

    He was never elected to anything. He was appointed.

    The fact that he didn’t gain a majority is just gravy.

  33. Noriega leaves prison, Chavez goes to prison. Has a kind of symmetry, doesn’t it?

  34. “My fellow Venezuelans, sniff sniff, I am working, sniff sniff, literally day and night, sniff sniff, to make your lives better…”

  35. He was never elected to anything. He was appointed.

    Ditto 8 guys and 1 chick in powerful positions in DC.

  36. But since they neither make the laws nor control men with guns, that seems a bit less worrisome.

  37. “My fellow Venezuelans, sniff sniff, I am working, sniff sniff, literally day and night, sniff sniff, to make your lives better…”

    This is not only funny, but TRUE. It has been a running joke in Venezuela for some time now how Chavez is always sniffing during his speeches.

  38. Makes sense suddenly why he isn’t worried about the food shortages in his country.

    “Oh your hungery? Chew on this Coca it will help.”

  39. I chew coca in the morning, I chew coca at night
    I chew coca in the afternoon, it makes me feel alright
    I chew coca in time of peace, and again in time of war
    I chew coca before I chew coca, and then I chew coca some more

  40. We don’t need to bring Hitler into this. Hugo Chavez is bad enough to discredit democracy on his own. Of course, he’ll ruin this indictment of democracy by becoming an unelected tyrant when things go south.

  41. Totally. I mean, there’s no way he’d ever let an election go the wrong way or accept the results.

  42. Is Chavez a Giants fan, too?

  43. Oops, I meant Cowboys fan.

  44. ”I chew coca every day in the morning . . . and look how I am,”

    Oh, was there ever a better argument for the drug war?

  45. No wonder all these Hollywood types are such good buddies with Chavez. They’re probably snorting rails together.

  46. joe,
    What exactly is your opinion on Chavez. At times you are harshly attacking him:
    “Yup, an arrogant dick with poor decision-making skills”
    And at others you sound like you want to propose to him:
    (from previous thread):”chosen leader by the people of Venezuela *yadda yadda* therefore he can be as big an asshole as he likes because “the people” love him.

  47. I don’t see that much of a contradiction in joe’s remarks. One doesn’t have to be a Chavez supporter in order to see the BS in some of the right wing criticisms of Chavez and, more importantly, the implicit criticisms of more moderate liberals in the US. [cough cough ‘Hillary in a pant suit’ cough cough]

  48. Hitler on amphetamine, Chavez on coca paste. Both make you paranoid.

    Just spotted at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22848090/

    “I accuse the government of Colombia of devising a conspiracy, acting as a pawn of the U.S. empire, of devising a military provocation against Venezuela,” Chavez said.

    “A military aggression is being prepared,” Chavez added. He did not offer evidence to support his claim.

  49. Lamar
    Maybe it’s the fact that joe seems to regard Chavez as a bad leader, yet defends him merely on the basis that he is democratically elected. My premise is that democratic processes do not lend any special legitimacy to government actions. Expropriation and repression are expropriation and repression, whether a single person does it on a whim or everyon gets together and votes on it first.

  50. Emperor Bush’s failed Drug War Czar (John Waters) has been beating the War drums loudly in preparation for what will undoubtedly be another preemptive invasion of a third world country. Hey, we did it to Noriega in Panama and this time we get to steal some Venezuelan oil too! The lost Drug War has cost more money, killed more people and ruined more lives than the Iraq War ever will. Prohibition DOES NOT WORK!!! Legalize ALL Drugs, tax and regulate them like alcohol and tobacco; which will reduce our National debt crisis too.

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